Category Archives: Jobs in Climate Science

A Request for Comments on the CCSP Report from Professor Ben Herman

I recently received a NASA Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) preliminary report that I imagine many of you have also received. For those who may not have received it, I’ve included a link at the end of this comment. NASA is asking for responses to this report for those who have comments, suggestions, etc that they would like to pass on to the CCSP committee. I have read through the report personally and feel there is much in the report that requires additional clarification.

On pages 6 and 7 of the report there are several “bullets” which summarize the issues and findings. More detail on each of these points may be found in the report. It is my feeling that these bullets and the additional detail discussions contain much information that requires further input due to it being still controversial, incomplete, and in some instances very misleading.

This report will undoubtedly play an important role in future climate related research programs supported by both NASA and NOAA, and therefore it is very important that all issues identified as important in the report be clearly and completely explained, and where controversial, both sides of the issue be included. This is important to ensure all important aspects of future research are given equal opportunity for funding, which is the basic reason I am requesting your input. Instructions for submitting comments to the CCSP are in the link below.

Thanks for your cooperation.


Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the following link.

The complete CCSP report may be found at the following link.

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New Paper On The Diagnosis and Significance Of Ocean Heat Content Changes

A new paper has appeared that further documents the value of using ocean heat trends to diagnose global climate heat system changes, which we have identified as being the most accurate way to diagnose global warming and cooling;

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335.

The paper is

Schwartz, S. E. 2007: Heat capacity, time constant, and the sensitivity of Earth’s climate system. JRG. accepted.

The abstract reads,

“The equilibrium sensitivity of Earth’s climate is determined as the quotient of the relaxation time constant of the system and the pertinent global heat capacity. The heat capacity of the global ocean, obtained from regression of ocean heat content vs. global mean surface temperature, GMST, is 14 ± 6 W yr m-2 K-1, equivalent to 110 m of ocean water; other sinks raise the effective planetary heat capacity to 17 ± 7 W yr m-2 K-1 (all uncertainties are 1-sigma estimates). The time constant pertinent to changes in GMST is determined from autocorrelation of that quantity over 1880-2004 to be 5 ± 1 yr. The resultant equilibrium climate sensitivity, 0.30 ± 0.14K/(W m-2), corresponds to an equilibrium temperature increase for doubled CO2 of 1.1 ± 0.5 K. The short time constant implies that GMST is in near equilibrium with applied forcings and hence that net climate forcing over the twentieth century can be obtained from the observed temperature increase over this period, 0.57 ± 0.08 K, as 1.9 ± 0.9 W m-2. For this forcing considered the sum of radiative forcing by incremental greenhouse gases, 2.2 ± 0.3 W m-2, and other forcings, other forcing agents, mainly incremental tropospheric aerosols, are inferred to have exerted only a slight forcing over the twentieth century of -0.3 ± 1.0 W m-2.”

This paper provides a valuable assessment that needs to be performed by others. Other questions remain, of course, such as whether the surface temperature data used in such studies is robust; i.e. see

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res. in press.

which will affect the evaluation of climate sensitivity.

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Multiple Hires in Climate Systems Science At The University of Texas at Austin

The Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin is recruiting for multiple hires in Climate System Science. This is an exciting development that promises to signfiicantly advance our understanding of the climate system. Their announcement for this opportunity follows.

“The Jackson School is building a premier education and research program in Climate System Science. We seek scientists at the forefront of their disciplines attracted to challenging areas of scholarship that require collaboration across disciplines and programs. We seek the expertise required to address fundamental questions associated with a changing Earth system, including:

* What processes control the rates of change and variability of the climate system, including the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, land surface, and biosphere?

* Can we improve our ability to anticipate these changes and determine the potential impacts on society?

Over the next three years, we will hire six or more faculty and scientists who complement our growing strengths. We will hire individuals who will enable us to build a comprehensive climate program and who will make fundamental advances in our understanding of the climate system. These areas include, but are not limited to:

* Improved modeling of the Earth system, specifically including ice sheets, the global carbon cycle, and interaction between the components of the Earth system.

* Enhanced observation of the Earth system, including remote sensing of Earth-surface processes and components.

* Greater capability to utilize geologic archives to understand climate change, including paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, and paleobiology.

* Improved ability to link climate and hydrology, particularly at the basin-to-continent scale.

* Increased strengths in atmospheric dynamics and physical oceanography.

* Increased ability to understand variability and quantify uncertainties, including statistical climatology.

* Greater capability to address societal impacts and vulnerability, including adaptation and mitigation.

We encourage applications from innovative scientists in other areas that are related to climate system science.

Opportunities exist at any level, can include cluster hires, and can be within or in combination with any Jackson School Unit—the Department of Geological Sciences, the Bureau of Economic Geology, or the Institute for Geophysics. The schedule of appointment is also negotiable.

Ph.D. is the minimum requirement for application. To be considered, your application should note the area in which you are applying (this is the title of the specific ad you are responding to) and include a cover letter, CV, list of publications, list of references, statements of teaching and/or research interests, to:

Randal Okumura, Office of the Dean
Jackson School of Geosciences
The University of Texas at Austin
PO Box B, University Station
Austin, TX 78713

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